Top illustration by Tim Forkes
Summer is fast approaching, and more things are opening, so I figured this month I would begin with answers to questions on a variety of topics. Fortunately, my fans only throw questions at me instead of popcorn.
Any new pet peeves you want to share with your fans? You haven’t talked about them lately. You haven’t grown soft on us, have you?
No, I have not become soft and accept the world as it is. I have more than my share of pet peeves but will focus on two, peanut butter and drivers.
I accept that most brands of peanut butter are crap. They are packed with sugar and consist of ingredients that are not natural or pronounceable. However, if you try to purchase a healthy peanut butter, one that is nothing but organic peanuts, you pay a lot of money to get pissed off. Well, at least I do.
Is it asking too much for a company that makes the consumer stir the peanut oil and mix it in with the peanuts to make it possible to do so without half the oil ending up on the kitchen counter? Why can’t they put eight ounces inside a twelve- or fourteen-ounce jar so the oil can actually be stirred? As it is, the oil never gets fully stirred which leaves consumers with dry clay-like peanut butter when they get to the bottom of the jar.
My issue with drivers comes from me being an avid road bicyclist. Yes, I am one of those people dressed in bright outfits and what appears to be a diaper lined inside spandex navigating the local roads. Why do drivers have to be total dicks?
We have plenty of bike lanes for people like me, but for some strange reason, drivers think they are meant for their cars. This morning, I watched a line of six cars stopping to make a right-hand turn while I was pulling up behind them. However, I had to use their car lane as I passed them on their left because each one felt it was more important to have their car block my bike lane.
What message is a driver trying to send me when I am in my bike lane and they pass me before pulling into the bike lane and tap their brake lights? Can’t they just get a bumper sticker that reads, “Hey, I’m A Jerk Who Hates Bicyclists,” and be done with it? Have they considered what it would be like if the driver of a semi did the same to them?
It’s enough to make me want to toss a jar of peanut butter at them, but I can grip mine because it is smothered with oil.
What does it mean when Demi Lovato comes out as being nonbinary? Does she have an electrical problem or is it something else?
I have to admit, I am baffled as well. Growing up in the 60’s and 70’s, it took me a little getting used to understanding some people are gay and there is nothing wrong with it despite the homophobic comments made by people of my parents’ generation. Men were still men and women were still women and the world kept on turning.
Today, it is a much different world, but for the most part, we can tell who the men and women are, and we understand some folks transition from one gender to another (Bruce became Caitlyn and the world kept turning).
If a he becomes a she or a she becomes a he they are still either a he or a she in the eyes of everyone. However, if I am correct, and I base my claim entirely on an opening segment of Kim’s Convenience and what I read about Demi Lovato, nonbinary has something to do with bouncing back and forth between the two which results in the individual identifying as a “they.”
They may well be they to them, but to the rest of us, they are an individual and we are asked to break all the rules of English we ever learned about identifying people lest we offend them, both the individual them and the entire group of them, if you follow me, the he who happens to be an individual.
Look, I had a difficult enough time understanding how one of my favorite baseball players, Ricky Henderson, always referred to himself in the third person when being interviewed. It was okay to laugh at him and mock him for doing this, but now it is considered rude to do the same with they if them is nonbinary.
I guess what I am getting at is that if a minority group wants to be respected by the masses, they ought to respect the rules of English, which are confusing enough as they are.
Did the Republican Party make a mistake removing Liz Cheney from her leadership position?
Considering the party wants to rewrite history into a false narrative, it makes perfect sense they remove anyone from their party who still lives in reality.
What are your thoughts on Tim Tebow being signed to play tight end for the Jacksonville Jaguars? Does he have any chance of making that team?
Does Tim identify as a tight end now or is this just a publicity stunt? He used to identify as a quarterback, then he came out as a baseball player before calling himself an announcer. If ever there was a they in sports, it is Tim.
Here is the thing. Tebow and Urban Meyer are good buds who live three houses apart. Coach Meyer needs a guy who will serve as a good example of what he wants from the team he now coaches so he has Tim filling that role. After he cuts Tim, he will sign him to a nice cushy job in the front office because that is what coaches do for good guys in the NFL.
You see, if you are white and polite, the NFL embraces you with open arms. However, if you are black and speak out, think Colin Kaepernick, you become toxic. And the NFL wonders why they have problems when it comes to race.
Did you happen to see the 60 Minutes segment about UFO’s? Is it possible there are other forms of intelligent life out there?
Have you noticed how other life forms have managed to find us while we are still trying to decide between going to the moon or Mars? I believe there are other forms of life out in the universe, however, to refer to them as other forms of intelligent life implies humans are intelligent. If this is the case, how come we can’t find them?
It is quite possible these higher life forms come here for a good laugh before darting away. They laugh at us while we wage war on one another, destroy our planet’s atmosphere, and fail to grasp the energy we waste trying to control one another could be put to better use helping those in need.
We may be another life form, but I would hold off on labeling us as intelligent when we seem more adept at shooting ourselves in the foot than anything else.
Is Israel right to be conducting bombing raids in Gaza or have they made a huge mess in the Middle East? What position should our government take on this matter?
This ties in with the previous question. How do we create a state for one group of people while refusing to support a state for another group of people? Our government policies are a lot of things, but consistent is not one of them. The one thing we can rely on is elected leaders will speak out of both sides of their mouths and the average citizen just accepts their convoluted explanations. Would higher life forms accept what goes on in the Middle East or would they be able to solve a problem without creating worse problems in the process?
War is not an example of intelligence. Selling arms to one group to keep peace over another is not intelligent. I am pretty sure, any solutions offered up won’t be either.
Matthew McConaughey says he is mulling a run for the Texas governorship. Is he qualified and if he runs, does he have a chance to win?
Scratching My Head
Look at it this way, can he do any worse than what they have now? As it is, Texas is led by a bunch of big belt buckled asshats who are dead set on returning the state to the backward thinking wild west. Women and minorities are going to become endangered species as long as the GOP controls the state politics. Run, Matt, run!
What has surprised you more, the fact there have been six no-hitters thrown in ML baseball so far this season or the fact that Bill Gates has turned out to be a pretty creepy dude?
Six no-hitters seem pretty crazy given we are just one-fourth the way through the season. At this rate, there will be 24 no-hitters in the regular season and given the expanded playoffs, another 13 more in the postseason. It is why baseball needs fewer teams. There are a lot of guys playing in the big leagues who have no business being there.
There are also a lot of pitchers who come up injured in the sport which makes it all the crazier there are so many no-hitters. This could all be changed if MLB just relied on T-ball. Rosters could dump all their pitchers and batters might actually be able to make contact and put the ball into play.
Still, I give the nod to Bill Gates. A lot of folks in this country do not follow or like baseball, but pretty much everyone knows who Bill Gates is and admired him for his work on the planet, vaccines, and giving away wealth. He was sort of a role model for the left who feel if all rich people conducted themselves like Gates, this nation might be nice to live in.
Now Gates turns out to be as big of a creep as anyone from the right who insists it is not a crime to be filthy rich and get bailed out by our government while paying employees a putrid wage.
Maybe now we will stop placing the rich and famous on pedestals and see them as they are, flawed human beings who just so happen to be wealthy and/or famous, much like MLB batters.
Are you as in awe of Simone Biles after her latest vault performance as the rest of us are? Where does she stand in the discussion of greatest athletes in the world? Personally, I think she is the greatest.
Almost as certain as death and taxes is the abuse one can expect if they say anything negative about Simone Biles. That said, I won’t let that prevent me from my honest assessment. I watched her recent vault and then said, “Meh.”
It’s not that it wasn’t great. In my opinion, it was. I just have not followed anything to do with gymnastics since Mary Lou Retton was doing her thing. I tend not to follow sports that are stunt centered activities that rely on the subjective take of a panel of judges. In that sense, it is not any different than American Idol, something I also don’t watch.
I also have nightmares when it comes to the vault that go back to my eighth-grade year in school when Mr. Morris brought out the school vault and demonstrated the dos and don’ts of vaulting for about half an hour before lining us up to take a shot at it. I think it was the first guy up who managed to plant and lock both arms in the middle of the vault before attempting to bring his split legs over the vault and through his locked arms. The resulting double snapping of both elbows brought a quick end to the day’s lesson, and I am sure left more than just me with PTSD.
When it comes to discussing who the greatest athlete on the planet is, it is like arguing which is the best fruit to eat. Athletes, like fruit, come in all shapes, colors, and flavors and trying to determine who or what is the greatest is all a matter of taste. Enjoy the many talents of athletes in several sports and remember, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how great they are, they won’t get the same press coverage as a mediocre one named Tim Tebow.
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Okay, with that, I bid you a happy June and give you a month to send me all the hate mail you want. Who knows, by the time July rolls around, Tim Tebow might be preparing to play for the Los Angeles Lakers next season.
James Moore is a life long resident of California and retired school teacher with 30 years in public education. Jim earned his BA in History from CSU Chico in 1981 and his MA in Education from Azusa Pacific University in 1994. He is the author of Teaching The Teacher: Lessons Learned From Teaching and currently runs his own personal training business, In Home Jim, in Hemet, CA. Jim’s writings are often the end result of his thoughts mulled over while riding his bike for hours on end.